October 16, 2018
Netanyahu Promises ‘Painful’ End To Hamas Terror
“Hamas apparently hasn’t internalized the message, “ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday (14th). “If they don’t cease the violent protests against us, they will cease in another way and it will be painful, very painful.”
The prime minister said the government is very close “to activities of a different sort – activities that include extremely intense blows.”
“If it has any sense, Hamas will cease fire and end its violent demonstrations now,” he added.
Netanyahu’s words were given added force by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who in an interview Sunday morning (14th) said, “We have arrived at the point where we have to land as strong a blow on Hamas as possible.”
“Hamas has turned violence on the border into a strategic weapon and by doing so they hope to erode our steadfastness, to erode our deterrence… They want to put pressure on the Israeli public and on the government of Israel,” Lieberman added.
Since March 30, Hamas, the terrorist organization which controls the Gaza Strip has waged a violent campaign of mass riots on Israel’s border, including infiltrations into Israeli territory and the launching of fire kites and balloon bombs in a new form of “arson terrorism.”
Fire Balloons In Jerusalem: Will Arson Terror Spread To All Of Israel?
A fire balloon was found for the third time in a week in Jerusalem, this time in the southwest neighborhood of Ein Kerem, raising fears that Gaza’s arson terror will spread to the center of the country.
In addition to Jerusalem, balloons tied to flammable materials were recently found in Rishon Letzion, Bat Yam and Givat Brenner near the coast, and in the cities of Modi’in and Beit Shemesh in central Israel.
“The police department has advised that, due to changing weather conditions Molotov balloons and explosive balloons sent from Gaza have been spotted in areas much farther than before,” a medical first-response group in Beit Shemesh said in an alert on Sunday (14th).
However, security officials believe that the balloons originate from Judea and Samaria, and not from Gaza, which is situated tens of miles away from the targeted cities.
A police source noted that a balloon was found earlier this month in the backyard of a house in Givat Ze’ev, a Jerusalem suburb. Givat Ze’ev is situated adjacent to several Arab neighborhoods.
The source indicated that Palestinians from the territories may be trying to mimic the Gaza attacks by launching incendiary balloons into Israeli cities.
Arson balloons appearing outside of areas surrounding the Gaza Strip naturally raises concerns that Palestinians in Judea and Samaria may not only try to mimic large-scale arson-attacks but may also mimic the violent riots carried out for months by Gazan Arabs.
Meanwhile, a senior IDF intelligence officer told Israeli media that he feels the chances of such a development is unlikely. While Gaza is controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian street in Judea and Samaria is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas.
The two Palestinian factions have been at odds for years, and therefore a scenario in which the PA turns violent in solidarity with Gaza is not an option, he explained. Abbas would not allow a situation in which it appears that Hamas has any influence in the areas under his control.
Gaza Terror Group Unveils First-ever Incendiary Blimp Bound For Israel
A Gaza terror group said it launched the first-ever incendiary blimp towards Israel during Friday’s (12th) riots and demonstrations along the Gaza border.
A video circulating in Palestinian media on Saturday (13th) showed members of the “Sons of Zouari” group launching the approximately 17 foot device over the border east of al-Bureij in central Gaza.
The blimp carried a message in Hebrew that said: “If our fate is to be doomed to suffer, then we will not suffer alone.”
It was not clear if the blimp made it across the border, or started any fires inside Israel.
The blimp was said to have been launched amid intense clashes with Israeli security forces Friday afternoon (12th) in one of the deadliest days in months of mass protests along the Gaza border.
Israel said 14,000 Palestinians thronged the border fence areas Friday afternoon (12th), burning tires, throwing bombs, grenades, rocks and Molotov cocktails at soldiers stationed on the other side of the barrier.
Because the violence was so intense Friday (12th), Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered a halt to the transfer of fuel to Gaza, just days after Israel began allowing hundreds of liters of fuel to be pumped into the Strip to allow increased electrical power for residents.
Israel’s Stealth F-35 Squadron Returned To Active Duty
The Israeli Air Force has returned its squadron of F-35l fighter jets to active duty, days after all F-35 aircraft were grounded, following an accident involving a similar aircraft in the United States Marine Corps.
Last week, the IDF ordered all F-35l aircraft removed from active duty until full examination of each aircraft was completed.
The decision was made after the US grounded its own F-35s, following the loss of an F-35 operated by the US Marine Corps. A post-crash investigation found that a faulty fuel pipe in the engine caused the crash.
The lost Marine F-35 was a F-35B model of the plane, adapted for use on carriers and smaller amphibious assault ships. The F-35B is capable of takeoffs from short runways, and can execute vertical landings, much like the Harrier aircraft.
Despite the differences, the Israeli Air Force removed all F-35l aircraft from active duty, and coordinated its examinations of the planes with the manufacturers, including Lockheed-Martin and Pratt & Whitney, which produces the engines used in the F-35.
The Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin decided that the F-35l aircraft will return to full activity in the IAF after a professional inspection of all aircraft, which was run by the Technical Array of the IAF,” the IDF said in a statement Sunday (14th).
The IDF emphasized in its statement that “the accident occurred in the type B aircraft, which the IAF does not possess. Therefore, the IAF F-35l aircraft will be brought back to full regular operational activity.”
Swedish Friendship Ship Docks In Israel – Roi Rubinstein
Two months after a Swedish protest ship tried to sail to Gaza, on Thursday (11th) a friendlier ship from Sweden arrived in Israel carrying 50 Israel-supporting Swedes including politicians, clerics, journalists and musicians. Stefan Abrahamsson, a Christian businessman who initiated the project, said, “We came here because Sweden’s image in Israel is very bad and we are here to express our sorrow over this.”
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that is built upon ideals which are central throughout the Western world, such as equality. However, israel is the only country which my country condemns. We are here to tell Israelis: ‘We love you, we are standing behind you and want to show our solidarity with you.’”
Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon said, “At a time when Israel is under attack internationally, these friends are a beacon to the nations of the world.”